Greenlea’s favorite holiday is Halloween. She LOVES the decorations, the scary movies (I mean more like Halloweentown and Curious George, less like Nightmare on Elm Street), the costumes and especially the candy. She LOVES the candy. So when I told her there might not be any trick-or-treating this year (there won’t be), she panicked.
“What about a Halloween party?” she asked. “Sure!” I said, “That’ll be fun!” I didn’t tell her that that “party” would basically consist of her, her baby brother and her parents. (But we’re not like regular parents, we’re like cool parents. According to us, anyway.)
At-Home Halloween 2020: How Our Family’s Celebrating With Crafts & Decorations
So I’m trying to find ways to make this Halloween special. I bought more decorations (from Target) than I normally would (I finally have an excuse! Mwahahaha!), and more Halloween crafts than I ever have before (as in, I never have before), all in an effort to make this Halloween 2020 one for the memory books.
1. Pumpkin (Egg) Hunts
Grab some pre-filled, mini pumpkins like these or use plastic Easter eggs (you could decorate them with a Sharpie to make them look like ghosts, witches, etc.,) and fill them with candy. Then hide them exactly like you would with an Easter egg hunt. The kids can use trick-or-treat bags (this one is reusable) instead of Easter baskets. They LOVED this idea–we might have to incorporate this one into every Halloween from now on!
2. Cookie Decorating
My mom makes great cookies. I don’t. So I bought this pre-packaged cookie decorating kit for our decorating session, but these Halloween-shaped cookie cutters are perfect for those of you who like to bake (or are just better at it than I am). The cookies in the kit came in packets of two so we could do multiple decorating sessions, and the best part was that I had no desire to try the cookies myself. (Mom’s are much better.)
3. Pumpkin Decorating
Every year I get SO excited about carving pumpkins and then lose interest halfway through scooping out the goo — not to mention having to actually carve them while keeping the kids from making an even bigger mess with the goo and playing with the sharp carving tools. Then I forget to light them at night, they start to rot and smell and…not. Worth. It. At least not when the kids are this little. These decorating kits are so easy…the kids still get to decorate pumpkins without all of the mess and fuss and the pieces can be used year after year. (Some fancier kits even come with paint.)
So there you have it–some of the ideas we’ve been using to celebrate Halloween this season. See more of them below, along with our favorite decorations to really set the mood (without breaking the bank!).
Shop At-Home Halloween Crafts For Kids & Toddlers
The easy (and fun!) crafts my kids loved plus the spooky decor we’ll be putting all over the house to get in the spirit.
1 \\ Mini Mantel Set: Gravestones and Tree – These are part of a bigger set of wooden Halloween decorations for your mantel, kind of like a kid-friendly Christmas village but for Halloween. Greenlea and Ozzie like to grab these guys and act out stories or songs, and I don’t have to worry about them breaking.
2 \\ Halloween Stationery Pack – There’s a lot of “bang for your buck here.” A bunch of stickers, pumpkin erasers, pencils and little notebooks can go a long way! (Greenlea really likes the little notebooks!)
3 \\ Toy-filled Mini Pumpkins – These come with little “toys” inside, but we added some candy corn and then “hid” them around outside, kind of like an egg hunt but Halloween-themed. Ozzie could easily get these open (and was shoving all of the candy into his mouth), so I might have been better off just getting some orange eggs and drawing on a jack-o-lantern. Either way, this is a great idea for celebrating Halloween during a pandemic!
4 \\ Wooden Shapes for Painting – You could paint these, but if you’re worried about the mess (raises hand), you could just have the kids use markers or glue sticks, and glitter or even stickers!
5 \\ Haunted House Cookie Cutters – I will buy these for my mom, the queen of baking cookies. However, I will be using the kit below.
6 \\ Dia De Los Muertos Sugar Cookie Decorating Kit – This kit was perfect. The kids’ cookies looked NOTHING like the photo, but they’re six and two. There are lines on the cookies to help guide your decorating, so older kids could easily make more intricate designs. I love it because the cookies are in packs of two, and I have no desire to try them (boxed cookies and all). My mom’s cookies, on the other hand…
7 \\ Halloween Crown Foam Sticker Kit – Greenlea is really excited to get this. (We had to save some things for the “real” Halloween, right?)
8 \\ 3D Pumpkin Patch Decorating Kit – An easy option that even Ozzie, our two-year-old, can help with.
9 \\ Color Your Own Haunted House – This one has great reviews, and is another one even the little kids can do.
10 \\ Halloween Black Cat Craft Kit – Because not everyone likes painting or coloring. This kit uses Model Magic, a soft modeling clay that air dries in 24 hours.
11 \\ Werewolf Pumpkin Decorating Kit & Pirate Pumpkin Decorating Kit – THESE. OMG, why did it take me so long to get these? Forget all the scooping and cutting and mess…unless that’s your thing, of course, but with two little kids they usually lose interest by the time the actual carving starts (not to mention that sharp things and kids don’t mix). These kits have pumpkins done in under 5 min. with no mess, and you can save the pieces for the next year. Best $4 I’ve ever spent! They also have “deluxe” kits that come with paint, like this Wonder Woman one.
Shop 2020 Halloween Decor From Target
1 // Jumbo Light-up Eyes – I wish the cord was a bit longer on these, but they’re fun to have up in the window!
2 // 5′ Hanging Spider – This is huge and creepy! Add this spider and a fake web…boom! House decorated.
3 // Light Up Talking Animated Ghoul – OK, here’s a great tip: Do NOT remove the “try me” tag! I made that mistake last year with one like this, and I got so sick of hearing that noise. If you keep the tag on, the kids can press the button when they want, but it won’t go off over and over again constantly. (Plus I think giving them control over it makes it less scary?)
4 // Light-Up Gravestone – Zack actually made a gravestone out of some foam board (he cut it out, painted it black and wrote RIP in white), but this one is cool because of the light-up factor. (Bonus points for battery-operated and no cords.)
5 // Flashing LED Rope Light Skull – This is just fun. Love the colors of the lights, and it has great reviews.
6 // Groundbreaker Skeleton – This is one of my favorites. Easy-to-use (just push the stakes into the ground) and a great way to decorate the yard.
7 // Chihuahua Skeleton – We placed this little guy next to the Groundbreaker Skeleton below…there’s also a smaller crouching cat skeleton.
8 // Black Gauze w/ Orange Lights – I have these up in front of the mantel decorations. They’re easier than using that faux webbing material that gets EVERYWHERE, and I like the lights.
9 // Orange Backlit Jack-o-Lantern – We have the skull version of this, and I love it. No extra cords and the batteries last forever.
10 // Pink Neon Skull – An easy decoration that requires no extra cords.
Happy (socially distant) Halloween!!